Today is the International Day For Failure. No better time to reflect on my first startup, and my foray into the startup world.
It was 2006/7 that I was living in Singapore, and saw the introduction and rise of “blogshops”. This involved older teenage girls/young adults either:
A) selling used clothing and accessories on platforms like LiveJournal, for more money to y’know, shop some more
B) figuring out that a lot of boutiques got their stock from Bangkok, and going to Bangkok themselves to buy stock to sell online at a lower price point
I did A), and thought B) was really smart. Passing the savings from not having a storefront and staff onto the customer. And Bangkok does have great fashion. B) was always on my mind, and when I lived in Tokyo in 2009/10 I thought of starting it there, but the language and other factors deterred me.
While finishing up my Bachelor’s in 2012, I had no idea what I wanted to do after… I was studying Mathematics and Statistics, and unlike my classmates, I wasn’t keen on going on to be an academic, an actuary, or to work in a bank. That’s when Jolietta was born. Armed with B) nagging at the back of my mind for 6 years now, experience working in the fashion industry, and the firm belief that there’s a market for a stylish and affordable fashion alternative, I went fuck it, let’s go.
June 18, 2012: Attended convocation
September 5, 2012: Flew to Bangkok alone, spoke to 50-100 suppliers everyday with the help of an English-Thai app.
-Worked on the logo and branding with an graphic designer I went to elementary school with
-Enlisted the help of a website designer friend of a friend, to set up and customize an e-commerce site via BigCartel
November 10, 2012: Launch day. Activated a street marketing team aka friends.